Day 3 :
- Track 4: High Yield Techniques: Soil & Agricultural Microbiology
Track 7: Bioremediation: Methods of Recycling & Waste Management
Track 8: A World Within: Exploring Marine Ecology
Track 11: Addressing Energy Crisis: Biofuels and Petroleum Microbiology
Track 14: The Inside of Earth: Geo-microbiology
University of Leige, Belgium
Coburg University, Germany
Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), Germany
Time : 10:00-10:20
Dr. Kathrin I. Mohr studied biology at the TU Braunschweig. During her postdoctoral time she investigated the “Biodiversity of algae and cyanobacteria in calcifying biofilms” and “in soil crusts from Namibia and South Africa” at the University of Göttingen. Since 2009 she works as a scientist at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, department Microbial Drugs, Braunschweig. Her main focus is set on the isolation of myxobacteria and their screen and enhancement of production of new and known secondary metabolites. She is author and co-author of about 30 papers in reputed journals.
Myxobacteria harbor an enormous potential for new bioactive secondary metabolites and are at the focus of natural product research in our group since more than 30 years. Within this time more than 100 new substances and about 600 derivatives have been isolated from these fascinating bacteria. New groups of myxobacteria turned out to be particularly promising candidates for the discovery of unknown metabolites. Therefore the isolation of hitherto undescribed myxobacteria is of high importance. To examine our cultivation success with extended standard methods, the diversity of myxobacteria present in sand from Kiritimati Island and German compost was evaluated by both cultivation-based and -independent methods. Phylogenetic analyses of cultured and uncultured 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed a big potential of undescribed myxobacteria in both sampling sites which were detected by clone bank analyses but not by cultivation. A total of 79 myxobacteria-related sequences were identified from clones of the libraries from these two samples which grouped into 12 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) on basis of 99 % sequence similarity. Cultivation of exclusively bacteriolytic myxobacteria revealed 42 strains from the genera Myxococcus, Corallococcus, Archangium, and Polyangium, whereby the genera Myxococcus and Corallococcus were represented by both approaches. But even in this well studied genera, as well as in the suborders Sorangiineae and Nannocystineae, a considerable number of clones were assigned to, if any, uncultivated organisms. However, high deficits are demonstrated in the cultivation of the remaining myxobacterial diversity. Especially clades which are exclusively represented by clones are of high interest with regard the cultivation of new bioactive secondary metabolite-producers.
National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan
Title: Targeted microbial diversity in cycus low energy ammonium removal system determined by 454 pyrosequencing and quantitative PCR
Time : 10:20-10:40
Hui-Ping Chuang has completed her PhD from Nagaoka University of Technology, Japan, and Postdoctoral studies from Hiroshima University, Japan and National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan. She is a Postdoctoral fellow in the Global Water Quality Research Center, NCKU, Taiwan. She has published 8 papers in reputed journals, and is specialized in the fields of biological treatment systems and improvement & application of molecular tools.
Cyclic Low Energy Ammonium Removal (Cleargreen) System is one type of the energy-saving de-ammonification system. A pilot scale Cleargreen system, with a feeding rate of 6.9 m3/day effluent water from a secondary wastewater treatment, has been tested in South Australia for 2 years. During a 450-day operation, the system gave a high ammonia removal of 80-85% with nitrite up to 150 mg N/L in the effluent. During the operation, 30 samples were taken for analysis of 454 pyrosequencing and quantitative PCR (qPCR). Analysis of 454 pyrosequencing showed that four nitrogen-related groups, family Nitrosomonadaceae, Nitrospiraceae, Brocadiaceae and Rhodobacteraceae, were detected, although all of them werebelow 4% of total bacterial population. Furthermore, the decrease of Comamonadace population was observed with the increasing of NH4+-N removal; while Brocadiaceae population was found to increase as NH4+-N removal was higher than 50%. qPCR results indicated that Nitrospira and other denitrifying groups containing nirS gene dominated in the system with the abundance of 5×1010 cell/mgVSS. Two ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea groups, Nitrobacter and anammox were detected at 103 - 106 cell/mg VSS. Ammonia-oxidizing archaea increased with increasing NH4+-N removal when NH4+-N oxidation ratio was below 50%, while anammox bacteria group positively related withthe removal of ammonia and total nitrogen removal. For microbial diversity of targeted nitrogen-related microbes, results from both 454 pyrosequencing and qPCR methods indicated that anammox bacteria could be enriched in the Cleargreen system, accompanying with the vicissitudes of other nitrogen-related microbes.
University of Uyo, Nigeria
Title: Microbiology, biochemical changes and biogas production during composition of oil palm empty fruit bunch
Time : 11:15-11:35
Alfred Y Itah did his BSc (Hons.) in Microbiology (1983), Calabar, Nigeria and PhD (1987) at Graduate School Board and Senate of the University of Calabar following his excellent performance in MSc course work examinations. He worked as a Professor of Environmental and Public Health Microbiology (2004); Head, Department of Microbiology (2001-2006). He was elected as Dean, Faculty of Science (2008-2010) and re-elected as Dean (UNOPPOSED, 2010-2012). He is a member of 10 learned societies including the Nigerian Society for Microbiology and American Board of Research Advisors. He has more than 51 scientific publications in reputable national and international journals with high impact factor. He is a Consultant Environmental and Public Health Microbiologist (Since 1998) and Litigation Expert Witness on crude oil pollution matters (Since 2000). He has attended more than 22 scientific conferences and is the Editorial Board Member and Editor-in-Chief to some reputable journals in Nigeria.
The microbiological, biochemical changes and biogas production during composition of Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch (OPEFB) for 42 weeks were studied using standard analytical procedures. The nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, carbon-nitrogen ratio, heavy metals and proximate composition were also assayed. The results revealed abundance and heterogeneity in genera and species of heterotrophic bacteria and fungi which included Micrococcus luteus, Klebsiella aerogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus megaterium, Absidia repes, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus glaucus, Fusarium oxysporium, Mucor haemalis, Helminthosporium satiuum, Saccharomyces uvarum and Candida pseudotropicalis. Mean aerobic and anaerobic bacterial densities ranged from 2.9 x 105 to 5.0 x 105 cfu/g and 2.7 x 105 to 4.7 x 105 cfu/g respectively while fungal densities ranged from 3.3 x 105 to 7.4 x 105cfu/g. Successional studies revealed primary colonizers of the compost comprised both bacteria (29.6%) and fungi (66.7%) with a pH range of 7.8 to 8.5.The results also revealed high levels of heavy metals ranging from 8.78 to 0.19 mg/I for iron, 4.80 to 0.48 mg/I for sodium, 2.79 to 0.08 mg/I for calcium, 2.53 to 0.40 mg/I for zinc, 2.41 to 0.07 mg/I for cadmium, 2.23 to 0.20 mg/I for lead and 1.89 to 0.22 mg/I for copper. The high level of Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium (NPK) ranged from 1.62 to 0.10 mg/I, 11.33 to 0.17 mg/I and 8.66 to 0.11 mg/l respectively while proximate compositional studies showed varying levels of carbohydrate (76.53% to 23.94%), protein (10.15% to 0.68%), lipids (0.54% to 0.48%), ash (8.00% to 90%), fiber (4.78% to 31.00%), moisture (63.00% to 63.55%) and organic matter (92.00% to 56.10%) respectively, with a positive correlation (p<0.05) in ash and fiber content over time. Anaerobic digestion of 2,750g of the OPEFB yielded biogas in the range of 0.035 m3 to 0.035 m3. The results underscore the use of OPEFB as organic fertilizer and suggest additional value as a good source of renewable energy rather than waste in developing countries.
Federal University of Technology, Nigeria
Time : 11:35-11:55
A.O. Ojokoh is an Associate Professor in the department of Microbiology of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria. His current research interests include Food Microbiology and Extrusion and Fermentation Technology. He has published several papers in learned journals and academic conferences. He has visited the Institute of Food Processing, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China a number of times for research. He has been involved in several important research projects. He is a Member of The Society of Industrial Microbiology (SIM), USA, Nigerian Society of Microbiology (NSM), Biotechnology Society of Nigeria (BSN) and Association of Industrial Microbiologists of Nigeria (AIMN). He has supervised several Masters and Ph.D theses in Food and Industrial Microbiology.
Mucuna beans flour fermented with Lactobacillus plantarum was evaluated in vitro and in vivo for probiotic activities in this investigation. L. plantarum used were isolated from ‘ogi’ made from sorghum thereafter, it was screened for growth and survival in the mucuna beans flour. At the end of 72 hour fermentation at 37ºC, the L. plantarum showed appreciable growth (8.83x106 cfu/g). After storage for 14 days at refrigeration (4±20C) and room temperature (25±20C), there was a considerable increase in the lactobacillus found in the products stored at room temperature (13.67x106 cfu/g) compared to the one stored at refrigeration temperature (8.47 x105 cfu/g). There was a steady increase in the total titratable acidity and temperature with concomitant reduction in the pH of samples during the fermentation period. The proximate analysis showed that there was an increase in the protein and moisture contents with decrease in Carbohydrates, fats, fibre and ash contents of the fermented samples compared to the unfermented sample. Under varying pH range, L. plantarum showed high growth and survival at pH 2 to 3. Supplementing the diet of albino rats infected with E. coli and Shigella dysenteriae with fermented products reduces significantly (p ≤ 0.05) the numbers of these pathogens and other enteric bacteria while the number of the Lactobacilli increased considerably. Furthermore, the body weight of the rats fed the fermented product was significantly (p ≤ 0.05) higher than the control group. Also, the Haematological analysis showed that the rats infected with the pathogens and later fed with the fermented mucuna beans flour recovered fully since their values were well within the permissible limit and were not significantly (p ≤ 0.05) different from the control group. In all, the rats fed with the product fermented with L. plantarum showed good recovery compared to the control. Conclusively, these results suggest that mucuna beans flour fermented with L.plantarum could be used as an ideal probiotic food.
University Mouloud Mammeri Tizi-Ouzou, Algeria
Title: New way to develop mixture of lacticleavens and powder of cardoon flowers (Cynara cardunculus) to produce yoghurt: Approach to immobilization
Time : 11:55-12:15
BENAHMED DJILALI adiba has completed his PhD at the age of 35 years from Algeria University of Boumerdes. He is teacher in the University of Mouloud Mammeri of Tizi-Ouzou.
The principal objective of this study is to develop a combination between lactic leavens (Lactobacillus thermophilus) and the powder of cardoon flowers (Cynara cardunculus) and their application on yoghurt. The coagulation of milk was optimized by using the two coagulant agents (with a fresh and immobilized state). The results obtained reveal that a quantity of 0.3 g of the powder of cardoon flowers has a speed of very interesting coagulation (2.55 min) in comparison with the use of the mixture optimized M2 (75% of powder ofcardoonflowersand lactic leavens 25%) and the optimized quantity of the leavens (0.1 g) with respectively speeds of coagulation (3.6 min and 22.58 min). The immobilization of the various coagulant agents’ improves the speed of milk coagulation. Indeed, a quantity of 6 g of the beads prepared from the powder of cardoon flowers shows a very fast speed (1.06 min) in comparison with the same quantity of the beads prepared starting from the mixture M2 (3.71 min) and the immobilized leavens (73 min). The beads prepared starting from the powder of cardoon flowers and the mixture M2 can completely substitute the immobilized lactic leavens according to the matrix of similarity (similarity of 70%). Moreover, the beads containing the powder of cardoon flowers improve on the one hand, the speed of coagulation of the yoghurt (one hour and 15 min) in comparison with yoghurt prepared at basis of the immobilized leavens (four hours and 30 min) and on the other hand, the rheological properties were ameliorated (smooth structure and the absence of syneresis phenomenon).
University of the Punjab, Pakistan
Time : 12:15-12:35
Imran Sajid completed his PhD in 2009 from University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. He has worked as guest scientist at the Institute of Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry Univeristy of Gottingen, Germany and at the Department of Chemistry University of Turku, Finland. Currently he is working as Assistant Professor, at the department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan . He is working with actinomycetes diversity of Pakistan for bioactive natural products discovery and has published about 20 research papers in reputed journals.
A rare bioactive Streptomyces strain designated as Streptomyces sp. KLM-2 was isolated from the Khwera salt mines, (Punjab) Pakistan. On the basis of morphological, microscopic, biochemical and physiological, characterization and by 16S rRNA gene sequencing the isolate was identified as a close member of Streptomyces griseus (100% similarity with S. griseus, Gene Bank Accession No. NR-074787). In preliminary screening, the crude extract obtained from the culture broth of this strain showed high cytotoxic activity against larvae of Artemia salinia and exhibited 84% larval mortality. The same cytotoxic/antitumor behavior was observed when the crude extract was screened against three cell lines by MTT assay. The isolate exhibited significant growth inhibition of the proliferating tumorous cells with the IC50 values of 12.17 µg/ml, 47.88 µg/ml and 56.12 µg/ml against Hela, MD-BK and Vero cell lines, respectively. Based on the potent cytotoxic and antitumor activities the isolate was investigated by cultivation upto 20 liters, and subsequent solvent extraction, through an efficient Diaion HP-20 bead extraction technique and purification of the metabolites by manual column chromatography. The preparative screening yielded two pure compounds including Chromomycin SA and 1-(1H-indol-3-yl)propane- 1,2,3-triol. The results indicate that the isolate Streptomyce sp. KLM2 is a potent producer of the antitumor metabolites and can be exploited for the commercial production of these compounds. Further, the Khewara salt mines are a unique and untapped ecological niche and the screening of diverse microbial strains from this source can yield highly useful antitumor compounds.
Cairo University, Egypt
Title: Title: New challenge: Reduction of aflatoxin M1 residues in cow s milk by MilBond Dietary Hydrated Sodium Calcium Aluminosilicate (HSCAS) and its Effect on Milk composition
Time : 14:00-14:20
Salwa A Aly is currently working as Professor at Department of food and hygiene, Cairo University, Egypt. Her work is mainly based on food borne diseases.
This study was aimed to evaluate the effect of Milbond (HSCAS) on aflatoxin M1 in artificially contaminated cows milk. Chemisorption compounds used in this experiment were MIlBond, hydrated sodium calcium aluminosilicate (HSCAS). Raw cow milk were artificially exposed to aflatoxin M1 in a concentration of 100 ppb) with addition of Nilbond at 0.5, 1, 2 and 3 % at room temperature for 30 minutes. Aflatoxin M1 was decreased more than 95% by HSCAS at 2%. Milk composition consist of protein, fat, lactose, solid non fat and total solid were affected by addition of some adsorbents were not significantly affected (p 0.05). Tthis method did not involve degrading the toxin, milk may be free from toxin degradation products and is safe for consumption. In addition, the added material may be easily separated from milk after the substance adsorbs the toxin. Thus, this method should be developed by further researches for determining effects of these compounds on functional properties of milk. The ability of hydrated sodium calcium aluminosilicate to prevent or reduce the level of aflatoxin MI residues in milk is critically needed. This finding has important implications, because milk is ultimately consumed by humans and animals, and the reduction of aflatoxin contamination in the milk could have an important impact on their health.
Hashemite university, Jordan
Title: Methyltetrahydrofolate Reductase and its relationship with vitamin B-12 and Helicobacter pylori infection
Time : 14:20-14:40
I completed my PhD in Molecular Genetics from University of Guelph, Canada, my MSc in Microbiology from Yarmouk University of Jordan and my BSc in Medical Technology from Jordan University of science and technology, Jordan. I have 15 years full time experience as assistant professor then associate professor of Molecular genetics, teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as supervise research postgraduate students in various fields related to my speciality. Additionally, I have an excellent level of written and spoken English and Arabic, as well as advanced computer skills.
Background: Genetic polymorphisms of Methylentetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) have significant roles in developing diseases including Helicobacter pylori infection. This association may be mediated through vitamin B-12 deficiency. The aim of this study is to determine any relationship between (c.677C>T) mutation of MTHFR gene, vitamin B-12 deficiency and H. pylori infection among thrombophilic patients.
Methods: A cross sectional study was designed for 130 patients with pulmonary embolism (PE), deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and recurrent abortion from AL Hussein medical city (Amman, Jordan). Laboratory investigations were carried out for vitamin B-12 measurement, H. pylori infection (IgG and IgA) and MTHFR (c.677C>T) gene polymorphisms.
Results: This study showed that the frequency of vitamin B-12 deficiency among thrombophilic patients was 15%, 81% were chronically infected, while 38% were acutely infected with H. pylori. The frequency of MTHFR (c.677C>T) gene polymorphis: wild type 41%, homozygous 14% and heterozygous 45%. There is a significant relationship between H. pylori chronic infection and MTHFR (c.677C>T) gene polymorphism among wild type, homozygous and heterozygous patients. All thrombophilic patients with homozygous MTHFR (c.677C >T) were chronically infected with H. pylori. No statistical significant relationship between MTHFR (c.677C>T) gene polymorphism and vitamin B-12 level and no statistical significant relationship was observed between the concentration of vitamin B-12 and H. pylori infection.
Conclusion: A significant relationship between chronic infection with H. pylori and MTHFR (c.677C>T) gene polymorphism. All thrombophilic patients with homozygous MTHFR (c.677C >T) were chronically infected with H. pylori.
Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran
Parvin Dehghan has completed her MS and the PhD of Medical mycology from Tehran university of Medical Sciences, in Iran. She is the Director of Mycology & Parasitology Department in Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. She has published more than 18 papers in reputed journals in English and Persian.
Despite intensive investigation, the taxonomy of Aspergillus is still highly complex. Recent data indicate that several of the species of this genus cannot be distinguished based on morphological or molecular methods, alone. Aspergillus section Flavi includes more than 25 species and this number is likely to increase significantly in the near future because of increasing application of the phylogenetic species concept based on DNA sequence data rather than on visible morphological characters. A.oryzae and A. sojae species have been used for centuries to make traditional foods and are generally regarded as Safe. The data support the concept that they are derived (domesticated) from the naturally occurring A. flavus and A. parasiticus through adaptation in food industry fermentation. These two latter species produce the potent carcinogen aflatoxin and show many phenotypic similarities with the non-aflatoxignic species. The source of A.parasiticus is soil and it has not been isolated from infections. A. flavus is the major agent responsible for fungal sinusitis, keratits and onychomychosis in tropical and subtropical areas and surpasses A. fumigatus (belongs to section Fumigati) a common etiologic agent of aspergillosis. The genomic size of A. flavus is bigger than the A. fumigatus and that is believed the latter has lost some parts of its genome during the lifetimes. Identification of the organisms are more complex and a combination techniques including morphological characterization, physiological behaviors and molecular methods or an ITS based sequencing strategy are necessary to identify them.
University of South Australia, Australia
Title: Bioactivity of olive leaf (Olea europaea L.) extracts and its phenolic compounds on a biofilm-forming pathogen
Time : 14:40-14:55
Wern Chern Chai has completed his Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) at the University of South Australia. He is currently practicing as a Pharmacist (provisional registration) in Adelaide. This research, submitted to the University of South Australia for the BPharm (Hons) award was supervised by two highly regarded microbiologists, Dr. Heather Rickard and Dr. Rietie Venter. His research interests include clinical and applied microbiology, complementary medicines and its microbiological use, pharmacology and quality use of medicines. Under the provision of a scholarship, he is currently undertaking an external research at the University of South Australia and Royal Adelaide Hospital looking at quality use of medicines in patients on statins (drugs used for management of high cholesterol levels).
Antibiotic resistance has been increasing drastically over the years despite efforts against unnecessary use of antibiotics. The ability of cells to form drug resistant biofilms, a complex architecture of cells encased in an extracellular polymeric matrix, is one of the many reasons for the failure of antibacterial treatment. A classic example is the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa which forms biofilms on medical devices and living tissues, which is intrinsically resistant against a wide range of antibiotics. P. aeruginosa release virulence factors such as pyocyanin, pyochelin and pyoverdine which contributes to tissue damage. We previously showed that olive leaf extract has anti-microbial activity against Gram-positive microorganisms, including that of MRSA. The important secoiridoids found in olive leaf such as oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol and verbascoside could play a role in the anti-microbial activity of olive leaf extracts. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the effect of olive leaf extracts and its phenolic compounds on planktonic cell growth, biofilm formation and excretion of cellular virulence factors of P. aeruginosa. The effect of the extracts and its phenolic compounds on bacterial motility, which is an indication of virulence, was also investigated. Given the growing concerns of antibiotic resistance, it is imperative that new therapies are developed. While the discovery of antibiotics have been considered a wonder of the century; the real wonder are the extraordinary genetic capacities these microorganisms has. Hence this study may suggest that harnessing of plant-derived agent for use as alternative therapy to promote interventions by addressing the crisis of biofilm-induced antibiotic resistance.
University of Chemistry and Technology Prague, Czech Republic
Title: In vitro determination of baicalein and chitosan action on Candida parapsilosis, Candida krusei and Trichosporon cutaneum biofilm
Time : 14:55-15:10
Kvasničková E is a PhD student at the University of Chemical Technology, Prague, Faculty of Food and Biochemical Technology, Department of Biotechnology. She is an author or co-author of 1 paper in peer-reviewed international journal (impact 0.604), and 6 papers in conference proceedings.
Biofilms are highly organized matrix-enclosed microbial communities irreversibly attached to a surface. The phenotype and gene transcription of cells in these communities is changed and they are capable to contaminate medical instruments and industrial devices or induce most serious problem – initiation of serious biofilm-associated human infections. The possible solution is to stop the biofilm formation by inhibition of microbial adhesion on the surface of such devices or to eradicate a pre-formed biofilm. In this study, we propose the option of biofilm treatment by natural substances as an alternative solution. The selected natural substances were flavonoid baicalein and polysaccharide chitosan. Polyene antibiotic amphotericin B, in medicine typically used drug often ineffective for biofilm-associated infections treatment, was used as the control. The representatives of opportunistic pathogenic yeasts were Candida parapsilosis, Candida krusei and Trichosporon cutaneum. These yeast strains were cultivated in 96-wells polystyrene microtiter plates and the colonized area of the well bottom was measured using a Cellavista device. We confirmed the insensitivity of amphotericin B in almost all cases, contrary to efficiency of baicalein and chitosan in significant decreasing of the colonized area in the wells. Baicalein exhibits high effectivity especially in reduction of pre-formed biofilm biomass. On the other hand, chitosan is primarily effective in microbial adhesion inhibition. Our results suggest that the application of natural substances could be a promising way for biofilm infections treatment.
Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia
Time : 15:10-15:25
Woei Kean Ng currently is a 3rd year PhD student in University Sains Malaysia. His research mainly focuses on the study of FcRn in the application of diagnostic. He has also conducted study on development of diagnostic test to identify the antibiotic resistance bacteria in tertiary hospital.
Neonatal Fc-receptor plays an important role in maintaining the serum half-life of antibodies. This unique function had been explored in various studies in order to improve the pharmacokinetics of human immunoglobulin G (hIg G) in vivo. FcRn is composed of a α-chain which non-covalently associates with a β-chain, named β-2-microglobulin (β2m). Studies have shown that the α-chain contains several interaction sites to the Fc segment of IgG, while β2m is important for the proper folding of FcRn. Genetic expression of FcRn has been conducted in many eukaryotic tissues, ranging from mammalian tissue to yeast, and also prokaryotic organism. Study designed by Andersen et al. had shown the production of functional FcRn in bacteria. However, protein refolding step is required to ensure the native activity of FcRn. In this study, we have demonstrated a novel expression strategy by using bacterial system, which produces the functional α-chain of FcRn. Expression vector that carries the cDNA of α-chain, was transformed into expression host, Rosetta-Gami 2. The bacterial culture was grown at 22°C for 16 hours after induction in a modify growth medium. The α-chain was expressed as soluble supernatant after sonication and centrifugation. The results of ELISA have indicated the native affinity of the α-chain towards hIgG and also retained its unique pH-dependent binding to the antibody. Our study proposed that the binding of FcRn to IgG may remain active in the absence of its β-chain. Further study will be conducted to confirm this finding.